Dear Decaturish – State law tries patients

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt February 25, 2015
The Georgia State Capitol. Photo by Ken Lund, obtained via Wikimedia Commons

The Georgia State Capitol. Photo by Ken Lund, obtained via Wikimedia Commons

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Dear Decaturish,

When I was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer, my diagnosis shook me and my family to the core. Where would I get treatment? Fortunately, I chose CTCA in Newnan. While treating there, I quickly learned that I was not just another woman with breast cancer, but a mother and wife, who longed for a long productive life.

At CTCA all my treatment options were explained to me each step of the way. I learned about the advantages and potential side-effects of various treatments, and how nutrition and other supportive therapies could help me tolerate my treatment. I was also asked what treatments I wanted to pursue. After consulting with family, I chose surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Right now, I am still treating with hope.

But perhaps you are unaware of an existing state law that limits the number of patients that can be treated at CTCA in Newnan? Yes, Georgia law limits the amount of patients the hospital can see locally. I truly believe that no woman facing a breast cancer diagnosis like I did, should be told that she is unable to treat at a hospital due to specific limitations that are in place.

I am calling on Senator Emanuel Jones and Representative Karla Drenner to support reforming our state’s Certificate of Need (CON) laws for CTCA and ensure every Georgia woman has access to all available treatment options.


Rev. Vanessa Brown Mason

Decatur, GA 30035

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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  • DHH

    We had a patient with advanced lung cancer ask for a second opinion from CTCA. Sent them the records including their insurance information (Medicare). We were told they would not see the patient for insurance reasons. My response to the patient was that this was a type of “second opinion”.

    I would ask our senators to be very circumspect with respect to for-profit health care. Not saying that CTCA is committing malpractice, but their outcomes when risk adjusted for covariables such as private insurance show that they are perhaps slightly worse than other medical centers in the SEER database. If they are to get an expanded CON certificate it should come with the stipulation that they have to take Medicaid and Medicare patients at levels comparable to other centers in metro Atlanta.

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